The HR world certainly has more than its share of acronyms, having to deal with the EEOC in order to comply with the ADA. And for an employee on leave, the interplay among the FMLA, PDA, and WC are crucial. But there’s a new acronym you need to learn because it describes a sensitive part of your workforce, the NQRs. No, not a “national quality reviewer” or “nuclear quadruple resonance,” but “not quite retired” ― people who retired and left the workforce but have been forced to change their plans and reenter the job market.
A recent report found 433,000 people over the age of 65 who were retired and are now back in the job hunt. They aren’t looking for new careers. They don’t want to manage employees or run departments. They aren’t vying for promotions, perks, or travel. They want to work as little as necessary to get medical insurance. Their food and mortgage are already budgeted, but their savings won’t cover their green fees or vacation plans, so they look for enough extra income to cover that. They probably have more education and a better house than you do, but they are cash-poor: excluding pension and retirement plans, their average bank account is about $30,000 ― not enough for the retirement lifestyle they thought they’d be enjoying.
Economist (and comic) Ben Stein notes that a retiree needs over $400,000 in the bank to supplement pensions and social security to spin off a total of $40,000 a year to live on. Other experts put that number at $1.25 million. Why don’t they hit the retirement goal? Because, Stein says, baby boomers have never experienced hard economic times, so they lack the effort and discipline to save.
Moreover, unlike previous generations of retirees, the current and future crop won’t have the “defined benefit” plans that were common in the 20th century and are virtually extinct today. So you’ll find these NQRs on your doorstep, more experienced and hungrier than your career staff and grateful for a job.
So maybe an XLNT NQR comes into your office WYLEI! You don’t have to worry about motivations because, most likely, WUCIWYG ― someone who will work without the WDAMYG attitude. In these days of shrinking resources, the NQRs may end up being 2G2BT, and if they succeed, then URA*!
(See www.webopedia.com/quick_ref/textmessageabbreviations.asp for an acronym glossary.)
Mark I. Schickman is a partner with Freeland Cooper & Foreman LLP in San Francisco and editor of California Employment Law Letter. You can reach him at (415) 541-022 or firstname.lastname@example.org.